|Reviews for Like Eiderdown & Disendowers|
| Jenny L. Gale chapter 5 . 9/5/2015
I realize your last update to this story was over a year ago, and that it is a completed work (and that you have 1500 reviews [I could only hope for so much; lol]), but I still have to review.
You're right. I'm tempted to sniff disdainfully and stop reading, but only because the story has taken a turn I wasn't expecting. However, being a writer and a reader, I know the reader can interpret all the wrong things based on one scene. So, I'm going to continue and give your story a chance. As many reviews as you've gotten so far, it must be good. I'm just hoping poor Rebecca can get herself out of this, and secretly hoping Dan will be there to save her ... thought if your character is anything like mine, I'm sure she's resourceful enough to save herself. :)
| Sugarcane chapter 3 . 8/30/2015
I don't have too much too say about this chapter. I enjoyed it.
I liked how you talked about how messy the dancing was, with the sweat and the make up...and that she ended up joining in the fun.
I really don't know what to think about Mr. Phelan, he seems to give mixed signals.
I also liked the honesty of the last scene, with the 'And don't say yes', 'That sounded depressing', etc. And the fact that she ended up not telling him seemed more real.
| Sugarcane chapter 2 . 8/29/2015
I don't know why but I loved the first sentence. The first part was a bit confusing for me though, a lot of information in there.
The second part was interesting. It's not an expected situation at all, and I wonder why he had so much interest in her. I liked how he said there was nothing to be afraid of, since at first I thought that might be the reason.
The final scene was really nice. They seem to find a sort of peace at school, even if they aren't quite the same. The fact that 'they both knew she wouldn't take up his offer' seemed very realistic as well.
| Sugarcane chapter 1 . 8/29/2015
I liked the beginning of this story. The premise isn’t new but what really counts here is how it’s developed. I really liked the fact that the parts with Dan had this slow, relaxed pace and the ones for Rebecca seemed more frenetic and reflected her worries about things a teenager would be worried about. The part where ‘his wife’ is mentioned made me want to know more about Dan, and I liked how you showed Rebecca’s awkwardness at the end, plus the fact that they aren’t supposed to be some perfect stereotype of the sexy teacher and the straight A student that is too mature for her age. Still, I’ll have to keep reading to find out if it stays away from the over used stereotype.
| Virtuella chapter 22 . 8/27/2015
So this is where things come to a crunch. Rather chilling to discover that Rebecca went as far as pulling the trigger of what she thought was a loaded gun. I liked how you made Phelan look pathetic at that moment, with matted hair and a crooked tooth. What concerns me in that whole scene is that Dan is barely mentioned at all. Obviously he can’t really do anything, but I felt I still needed to have evidence that he was there, so to speak.
And so now Rebecca and Dan find themselves in a right mess. Dan finally, finally takes the adult stance, but it is way too late for that. As you point out, “No one left was very innocent.” It’ll be interesting to see how this will all be wrapped up.
| Virtuella chapter 21 . 8/22/2015
Sorry it took me so long to continue with this story! Summer holidays took me on different paths.
I can understand that you feel a little uncertain about this chapter. It does stand out from the others, but once I realised the set-up, I had no problem with that. I would say I am not confused, but that is assuming you didn’t expect the reader to have a completely clear picture at the end of the chapter. It’s more that I get the gist of Phelan’s motivations. Not sure what the plane ticket to Zürich is all about, but we’ll probably find out later.
| Virtuella chapter 20 . 6/26/2015
I really liked the descriptions of the walk in the forest. It connects with my own memories of outdoor spaces, and that is always a bonus in reading, because it evokes additional perceptions, like smells, that haven’t actually been described. It’s very melancholy, to think of Dan remembering his past, when he thought he would one day bring his children out here.
So, Rebecca has a conscience about doing something in her test that only just qualifies as cheating. This is probably an outlet for another kind of guilty feelings – at least I would hope that she has some kind of scruples about maintaining an illegal relationship with Dan.
| Virtuella chapter 19 . 6/14/2015
“Her mother wouldn’t know.” This is such a good way of showing how Rebecca is facing all these difficult situations without adult guidance. Of course, we don’t know how much use her mother would have been, had she lived, but her absences stands for a wider emptiness in Rebecca’s life.
The blue tinted roses – they seem somewhat of a clumsy thing on Dan’s side, artificial, brushing a natural thing against the grain. I’m not sure what to make of this in the context.
The art theme is well played in this chapter. Rebecca’s obscure blob that resembles and apple, a continuation of the Fall theme, and then linked to Hannah’s rainbow, another biblical symbol, this time one full of promise, seemingly a comment on how much easier Hannah’s life is compares to Rebecca’s, and then the way that later transforms into a hint of Hannah’s on struggles. Then the motif of colour, and how that links with Dan’s wife’s photographs. Nice complexity altogether.
“And it was as if all the time before she'd kept a piece of her heart like a fern in an airtight bell jar and he uncovered it and when he did the fronds unfurled and she was unafraid.” The cadence and poetic beauty of this sentence are just lovely.
“And my friends are just amazing” Ouch, this must be a painful thing for Rebecca to hear, it is, in a way, a sudden demotion of her status as a friend.
| Virtuella chapter 18 . 5/24/2015
Soooo, Rebecca gives up or finds unexpected courage – depending on what perspective we want to take. I remember in one of the first chapters have you linked her in your imagery to “the fall” and confirmed that it could mean both autumn and the biblical Fall. It is excellent to find so many chapters later that same imagery continued: “knowledge was fruit luminous and heavy with forbidden possibilities.” Also nice how you have linked that the Dan’s thoughts earlier: “he questioned if despite all his intentions, anything he did could make good come to fruition”
“Each daisy had twenty-one petals.” Clever, so that in a game of “He loves me, He loves me not,” it would ends with “He loves me.”
“he felt his spine bend, felt his shoulders drop” In spite of what Rebecca is thinking about needing him and finding safety with him, it might turn out that he is too weak to protect her?
Very thought-provoking chapter.
| Virtuella chapter 17 . 5/4/2015
And here Phelan makes it to yet another height of creepiness and loathsomeness. Dan has got some nerve, though, to demand of Rebecca that she should report things when he has consistently failed to do so even though it is his professional duty. There are moments when it feels as if she is the adult in this story.
I liked the opening with Rebecca musing about the talents she would have liked to have. That rang very true. Also very nice the bit where she asserts that she is not a damsel in distress. Anyway, her problems are far too complex for such a simple concept.
And ah, the endless awkwardness of their conversations…
| Virtuella chapter 16 . 4/28/2015
It is very touching that Rebecca, after all that has happened, considers her chaste and awkward kiss such a big deal, thinking of it at HER SECRET. Though she is right to feel bad about it, because she has put Dan into an impossible situation.
The detention room might as well be called the tension room, given how tension-filled it is. Is it a “red room” in reference to Jane Eyre or is this just coincidence? I liked how you described Phelan’s smile as acid and venomous, snake that he is.
Rebecca’s memories of her mother are lovely and heart-breaking. She was clearly trying so hard. “, the one who took a nap on a fruitful autumn afternoon to wake up finding herself in the midst of winter” – such a poignant sentence!
“tendrils of terror” - very good, very Cthulhu!
I liked the reflection on Dan’s tame but contented life and his very modest dream of meeting another sympathetic woman. Life could have been kind and granted him that!
I also liked how you described the decaying atmosphere in the house.
they weren't her allies. [They]
marked where where suppliers
| Virtuella chapter 15 . 4/26/2015
I liked the way you conveyed Rebecca’s feelings of awkwardness in Hannah’s house. It is very believable and something many people will know from their own experience.
“Rebecca didn't know anything about cars besides how to sit in them, and she knew less and less about parents.” That is both funny and sad.
I know you live in a different country from me, but can you hear me SCREAMING? Screaming at Dan that he must, MUST go and speak to his head teacher? There is really no longer any excuse for him (if there ever was). Whatever Rebecca says or does, it should be clear to him that she is not capable of handling the situation on her own. Quite apart from the obligations of his professional ethos.
And Rebecca is being a typical woman, focussing in that conversation on the issue of beauty…?
Couple of typos:
“She hoped he wasn't expect”
he said after a pause, "About you."
| Virtuella chapter 14 . 4/21/2015
I didn’t think it was possible for me to find Phelan more loathesome, but now I do. His callousness has no bounds. It is shocking to think that someone like that would be in charge of young people. What is also shocking is that Jen is also willing to let this extremely serious case of child abuse go unreported, this time out of concern about the reputation of the school. Well, the reputation of the school will be blown out of the solar system if this cover-up gets out. Phelan belongs jailed, obviously, but Dan and Jen both belong fired.
I didn’t find the focus on dialogue a problem. As you can see, you got me properly worked up here!
| Virtuella chapter 13 . 4/19/2015
Ah, you capture in a nutshell what is wrong with education: “The school's average performance on state standardized tests and college enrollment rate affected everything from PTA involvement to housing prices.” So really, it is about everything other than the students. No wonder Dan is getting cramp. And of course having to be in the same room with Phelan.
A rather cryptic message from Phelan. So, presumably he knows that Dan knows, as the old geezer would have told him about passing on the prize. Does Phelan take the fact that the police have not been at his door yet to mean that Dan is complicit? Is he going to blackmail Dan? He certainly has a nerve to turn up and claim Rebecca as he does. And, OMG, she goes with him? After she just felt that Dan had “he'd spun something to catch her,” what a lovely sentence that was!
I also liked the ideas of impulses, reactions, forces and balances that are evoked by the physics lesson. In vanilla. :)
| Virtuella chapter 12 . 4/17/2015
What a wonderful description of Hannah's home! I always love it to come into someone's house and find it full of imaginative detail. You have such a talent for making such scenes vibrant. The music box is a delightful addition.
Certainly a dangerous time for Rebecca to be playing Truth or Dare, even without the dare! However, she escaped unscathed, it would seem, and perhaps even with a greater degree of self awareness.
Dan's dream is powerful and his yearning for Sophie palpable. The way he struggles with his feelings for Rebecca is believable. I am rather surprised, though, that he doesn't seem to give any thought to his professional misconduct and the possible consequences. He has failed to report a very serious child protection issue. Howevermuch he feels he wants to respect Rebecca's confidentiality, the law is not on his side (certainly not in Scotland, and I would imagine not in the USA either.) Is he so vulnerable and so, well, infatuated, that he doesn't care about his self preservation?
I'm intrigued by the new plot element you are introducing concerning Rebecca's mother.